I will be the first to say that my enthusiasm shot to Mars, when I saw the headline that OBJ was coming to Cleveland a year ago. Just like any typical, hopeful sports fan, the buzz of his presence was as loud as ticked off bees for the potential success of the Browns, especially with already having his buddy Landry on the squad. I have backed OBJ and will continue to back OBJ. I’m talking about the slander the media continues to put out about him, confusing his passion for the game for ignorance or saying he wants out every seven seconds just cause he has one bad game. However, it may be time to just face the music and accept that it might be time to move on from OBJ.
His recent injury aside, it’s just obvious that Baker and Beckham just don’t have any chemistry at all. His passes to him looked forced and you can tell that his lack of receptions this year have been taking a toll on him. Nevertheless, it’s time to discuss what the future for OBJ in a brown and orange uniform as well as in the NFL, will hold.
To get the elephant in the room out, we have to talk about how his recent injury will impact his future in the NFL. Come this November, Odell will be 28 and if my math adds up, by the time he comes back he’ll be 29. For most 29 year olds, this is the age of your career where you’ve settled into your job and seeing what the working world is all about. However, in the NFL, being 29 is about equivalent of being 65.
Secondly, the ACL is no laughing matter when it comes to injuring it, especially at OBJ’s age. Max Kellerman on FirstTake, for once, made a pretty good point, by comparing guys like Bo Jackson or Sandy Koufax to Odell’s situation. Both atheletes, at the same age as Odell, just weren’t the same after their injury and had to retire practically in the prime of their career, such as Jackson only playing 3 seasons. This I couldn’t agree more with. If you look at what makes Odell, Odell it’s his insane route running, hard cuts, running reverse passes, and of course his magical one-handed catches. However, taking both the location of his injury and age into account, you have to begin to wonder if he too will be the same if and when he makes his return. Not only this, but with all those sharp cuts and crazy jumping catches, you have to be weary about if coming back to the league, even if it’s a year or two of not playing, will exacerbate his ACL further down the road, as this type of injury is known for doing. Sure you may be back on the field, but are you really back?
Say what you want about him, but I have to agree with Kellerman again, in the sense that what Odell was prior to his injury, is enough to put him in the category of one of the most elite receivers throughout NFL history. I wish OBJ nothing but the best and hope to see him back on the field to forever change the game of football.